Kendra Pittsley knew something was “off” about her headaches she kept getting in 2007.
"I started having headaches and seizures, so it was a rather scary experience,” she said.
The Massachusetts woman was even more scared when she received her diagnosis of brain cancer and would have to have surgery. Yet even more terrifying was when it came back a year later.
But Pittsley is a self-described brain tumor warrior, who has beat cancer twice. And because it was caught as early as it was, the prognosis was much better than what it would have been if caught later, like with most cancers.
"When we catch them early, it's easier to remove surgically,” said Lifespan neurosurgeon Dr. Steven Toms. “Often, we find them before they've invaded or destroyed critical areas of the brain.”
That’s why for the past three years, Pittsely has been holding events to raise money and awareness of brain cancer, especially after her own battle. She’s already raised thousands of dollars for the American Brain Tumor Association.
"People shouldn't die from brain tumors just because of a lack of funding,” she said. “So if there's not going to be money from the government, someone needs to make a difference and try to raise money.”
Now, she’s hoping that Senator John McCain’s diagnosis of brain cancer will bring more attention to the disease as well, as famous figures often do.
"When they get it, then people pay more attention to it, when someone in the public has it," Pittsley said.
We’re keeping everyone fighting brain cancer in our thoughts and prayers, and hoping they can get the word out to as many people as possible.
Find out some strange facts about cancer we never knew in the video below.